In the depths of August, Pope Francis makes surprising appointments for Laity and Family

There were a few interesting appointments made today.  Check

The first interesting thing is that this is just after Ferragosto.

Today, Pope Francis appointed Bp. Kevin Farrell of Dallas to be the Prefect of the new dicastery for the Laity.  Farrell had once been in the Legionaries and then Auxiliary in Washington DC.   I had heard rumors that the Holy Father was considering Archbp. Cupich for the post.  I think that Bp. Farrell will now be the only prelate from these USA (NB: he was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland) in a major position in the Curia. His brother Bp. Brian Farrell is the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

He also named Ap. Vincenzo Paglia (outgoing President of the Pontifical Council for the Family) to be the new President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and also as Grand Chancellor of the “Giovanni Paolo II” Institute for the Family.   The new President of the same Institute for the Family will be a Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, who is now the President of the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy of Milan.

The new Dicastery for the Laity will fire up in September and will take over the briefs of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family, which will cease to exist.

The moderation queue is ON.

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  1. Gripen says:

    I’m in the Dallas diocese, and on a couple occasions my pastor has hinted that we may be getting a new bishop soon. Maybe he was on to something, after all. Who do I write to get Bishop Conley in Dallas?!

  2. Mike says:

    An unsurprising appointment of Bishop Farrell, who recently endorsed Fr. Thomas Rosica’s gushing adoration of the current Pontiff and calumniation of the Holy Father’s critics.

    Whether the new dicastery will be peopled by a gaggle of Modernist yes-men remains to be seen, but such an outcome wouldn’t stun me.

  3. S.Armaticus says:

    Here is what pops up on the Dallas Area Catholics Blog for “Farrell”:

  4. Manducat in the hat says:

    Forgive me for my ignorance, but does that mean that Bp. Farrell will be leaving Dallas?

  5. Lavrans says:

    Bishop Farrell seems like a good choice. I hope he does well.

  6. TimG says:

    Sadly, none of these names are familiar (other than Abp Cupich) and in today’s new world, I have to ask the question. Are these good or bad appointments?

  7. PTK_70 says:

    Abp Augustine DiNoia, O.P., of New York, is, I understand, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine if the Faith. Seems important but perhaps it’s not considered “major”?

    I also understand he played an important role in the development of the Anglican ordinariates.

  8. MWindsor says:

    This is an excellent appointment for those of us in the Dallas area. I don’t know how this will turn out for everyone else.

    Is Cardinal Burke busy these day?

  9. JabbaPapa says:

    These are curial appointments to a newly created Dicastery, and so the proper Catholic response is surely “wait and see” ?

    It took a while for Cardinal Müller to fully establish himself in his present Ministry, and we should be careful and patient towards these new appointments.

  10. Peter Stuart says:

    Of course Francis chooses the man who spread gay-affirming “Always Our Children” all over the Dallas Diocese. Good thing SSAs like me struggling to be faithful have gotten comfortable here under the bus.

  11. MitisVis says:

    Taking a broader view that includes recent statements from the Holy Father, the commission to explore women in a deaconate role, the recent Synod on the supposed Family…all the way back to the transfer of Cardinal Burke, I now see the appointments of Bishops Farrell and Cupich together with the possibility of appointing a lay lead deputy to this Curia position as confirmation that we are presently in great need of seeing the whole picture rather than jumping from one shock and awe moment to the next. I suggest we refer to the call from Cardinal Burke to pray the rosary novena seriously not only for the USA, but for our Church and our families.
    Time to gird our loins and grab the Armor

  12. Thomistica says:

    Note mention of the problematic Amoris Laetitia!


    Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas to Head New Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

    “I am extremely humbled that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has selected me to lead this newly formed dicastery. I look forward to being part of the important work of the universal Church in the promotion of the laity and the apostolate of the laity and for the pastoral care of the family, in accordance with the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), and the support of human life.

  13. TheDude05 says:

    It will be nice to have His Excellency’s anti-gun rhetoric out of the area, but still sad to have what seemed a good shepherd leave. Hopefully the position and the man will be a good fit and lift all us laity closer to Heaven.

  14. Thomistica says:

    From National Catholic Distorer, or rather Reporter, oops, Fishwrap.

    “The other day, I noted that we would soon seen the differences of opinion about Amoris Laetitia come to a head on account of the expectation the relevant USCCB committee would have some kind of report in September, and that the chairman of that committee, Archbishop Charles Chaput, had issued guidelines for his own archdiocese that, in my estimation, fell short of the mark and stood in clear contradiction to what we have heard from Cardinal Christoph Schonborn and read in the pages of Civilta Cattolica. Now, this appointment adds an additional sign that the Holy Father wants to move in a clear direction, and it is not the direction that naysayers would propose.”

  15. hwriggles4 says:

    Speaking as a practicing Catholic who lives in the Dallas Diocese (and attends a good Novus Ordo parish with meat and potatoes homilies), Bishop Farrell has done fairly well. He has been strong in vocations (about 50 men are currently in seminary, and the last few years have seen ordination classes up to 4 men per year), giving support to younger Catholics (i.e. supportive of Young Catholic Professions) and get them interested, attends the Dallas March for Life every year (and even came to my parish during the 2008 election to give a Pro-Life homily), emphasized the Sacrament of Reconciliation (i.e. the Light is On at Easter and Christmas), gave the FSSP a parish, and “retired” some questionable pastors. He was also a supporter of the Knights of Columbus at both the parish and the diocesan level.

    What would I like to be different? A bishop who is a little more “hands on”, and spends more time inside his own diocese, and is accessible to his flock. I would also like a bishop to take a look at some ministries in his diocese, and disband some “questionable” ministries (i.e. Outstretched Hands, Centering Prayer are at some parishes here). I would also like to see a bishop who will put his foot down and refuse to participate in certain second collections, such as Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Frankly, I am one parishioner who when these two collections come around, I put a note in the basket containing a couple of brief sentences explaining why I am not participating.

    I wish Bishop Farrell well, and I’m wondering if Bishop Daniel Flores (an auxiliary in Detroit and former Bishop of Brownsville) and Bishop Michael Sis (San Angelo) are being put on the short list. I can pray and dream, since I’m not Pope Francis I.

  16. notenoughflair says:


    I would *highly* recommend against trusting anything that the blog you linked to says about Bishop Farrell. That blogger has no idea the damage he does with the lies and gossip he spreads about his local priests and bishops. Much of his “information” is inaccurate hearsay and gossip, and is usually combined with extremely biased criticism about any given situation. The rare times when the blogger makes a call for action on information that is actually correct, he follows the call with phrases such as “Bishop Kelly is really the man to contact, since getting to Bishop Farrell is all but impossible unless you leave a trail of gold coins behind you.” Even if every word of news he publishes about Bishop Farrell is 100% true (and it rarely is), his public hatred towards his Bishops is uncharitable and scandalous. I pray for his soul often, and for the souls that he scandalizes.

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